Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Last week was a tough one and a bit discouraging. I started out the week pretty sick and lost my motivation battling coughing fits while running, so I only ended up getting in four of my six scheduled runs for the week totaling 35 miles. I initially had plans to try to cram those missed runs into this week, but I know better than that and understand it won’t really help – and could even lead to injury. I just need to stick to my plan going forward and stay as healthy as possible.

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: Rest day – not feeling well.

Tuesday: Rest day – not feeling well.

Wednesday: I went to the gym Wednesday night thinking I could hop right back into things and do my speed workout on the treadmill. My warm-up went OK, but I didn’t even make it through one interval before realizing it was not in the cards for the day and put in one of my easy six milers instead.

Thursday: Today was the high point of the week. I had a 6-mile tempo run on tap and got that in en-route to DC for a Christmas lights run with some of my Oiselle teammates. I ran a one mile warm-up along the Mt. Vernon Trail, six miles hard continuing along Mt. Vernon over the 14th Street Bridge onto the Mall, followed by a 1-mile cool down to our meet-up point near the Chinatown metro. Tempo runs in the Hanson’s plan are marathon pace miles. I was admittedly a bit off my goal for these (nearly 20 seconds), but all six were consistent and I felt strong – given the week I had so far I counted this as a win. The best part was what followed – the roughly 4-mile jaunt around DC with the Oiselle girls checking out lights and trees at City Center, the Willard Hotel, the National Christmas tree, the Capitol Building and the Canadian Embassy – so much fun!

Christmas Tree Stop at the Willard

Christmas Tree Stop at the Willard

Friday: I put in 7 easy miles along the Mt. Vernon trail after work before grabbing dinner at Jimmy John’s and making a Wegmans run…not a bad Friday night!

Saturday: After having a lot of trouble sleeping Friday night I got a later than planned start on my Saturday long run and felt like my legs never woke up for this one. I put in my 10 miles though, so I’ll take it and move on to next week!

Sunday: Unplanned rest day. My sore legs and lack of motivation got the best of me today.

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In The Spirit: Holiday Fun in D.C.

Last weekend my Mom made a trip down to visit for a girl’s weekend. We kicked things off with a Christmas cookie baking day. Thanks to my Dad for FedEx-ing a package full of all the ingredients we’d need we were good to go! We put on the Christmas music station on Pandora and made dozens of peanut butter blossoms, chocolate peanut butter balls and attempted some snickers peanut butter bars.

National Christmas Tree

National Christmas Tree

The cookies were mostly a success. The snickers peanut butter bars came from a recipe I found on a blog I follow, and it seemed like there might have been a liquid ingredient missing from the recipe. There was nothing really holding them together, so they didn’t make the cut and ended up in the trash. The others were delicious however, so I stuck most of them in my freezer to keep me from eating them all at once! We also took advantage of the leftover chocolate to make a bunch of chocolate covered pretzels. Check out the recipes below.

On Saturday night, we enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather and went into D.C. to check out the National Christmas tree. Somehow in my six years here I’ve never done this. It was of course, very crowded, but also very fun. We took a quick spin through to check out a couple of the state trees and then got up close to see the main tree and all the train sets around it. They really do a great job with it, and it’s a fun holiday thing to do. We capped off the night at one of my favorite D.C. restaurants right around the corner from the White House – Old Ebbitt Grill. It was a great weekend and a fun way to get into the Holiday spirit. Only 8 days till Christmas!

Peanut Butter Blossoms:
½ cup veg oil
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¾ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

Shape into balls and roll in sugar. Bake on cookie sheet at 350 for 8 minutes. Put in hershey kiss and bake another 2-5 minutes (unless you use peanut butter cups – they melt much faster!!).

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
2 ½ cups peanut butter
½ cups margarine
2 cups confectioner sugar
2 cups rice krispies

Shape into balls and place on wax paper.

To make chocolate coating in a double boiler mix and melt:
¼ bar parifin wax
18 oz plain chocolate bar
16 oz pkg chocolate chips

Cover cookies, return to wax paper and refigerate or freeze when cooled.